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An Introduction to Bitcoin

By: OSGA - osga.com
Published: Sep 19, 2015

It has gotten to the point where if you aren't living under a rock, there is a pretty good chance you have heard of something called "Bitcoin." For those online gambling customers who aren't that conversant with it, we will try to supply a basic explanation of it and how it can work for you as a consumer.

Invented in 2008, Bitcoin is a virtual currency, which means that it operates online, and exclusively on the Internet. Because of that characteristic, it is also universal, more than any other currency. It is not minted, and not printed. So there is nothing that is held in one's hand, and nothing that is issued or controlled by a single government, which would make it "fiat" currency. Instead, it is "mined," in a virtual process that, well, might take forever to explain. But we will put it is simply as we can – in this endeavor, high-speed computers attempt to solve very complex mathematical problems, and through this process, Bitcoin can be "unearthed," in a sense.

When it is acquired, it is stored in something called a "Bitcoin wallet," which operates somewhat like a bank account that doesn't gather any interest. A wallet can be downloaded by the consumer at various locations online, and there are wallets that can adapt to any device. Bitcoin is also a currency that can be exchanged with others, just like any others. And there are actually Bitcoin exchanges that can accomplish such a thing. Once someone takes possession of some Bitcoin, it can be used like any other currency for the purpose of purchasing goods and services. More and more merchants – online sportsbooks, like BetAnySports, and other "mainstream" merchants - are accepting Bitcoin as a payment method, with that number increasing by the day. With every subsequent merchant who comes on board, it obviously strengthens the currency. It goes without saying that merchants enjoy the speed of the transactions, and another significant consideration is that with Bitcoin there are no chargebacks (i.e., refunds that customers get on their credit cards after the transaction has been made).

Bitcoin has evolved into something that has also become an investment vehicle for many, treated in some ways as a commodity, like gold. Yes, there are fluctuations in the market, but overall it has gone up in value quite a bit from where it was a few years ago. There are notable people who have made very big investments in Bitcoin, including the Winklevoss twins of Facebook fame. Many savvy investment analysts have predicted a bright future for it.

As far as online gambling is concerned, its value comes mainly as a protocol through which transactions can be made. The open source software that Bitcoin operates over was brought to the public in 2009. Remember, this is strictly a peer-to-peer atmosphere, so none of these transactions go through a bank or any other type of intermediary. In the opinion of many, this process circumvents the restrictions that were laid out in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which has been a thorn in the side of the online gambling industry for nearly a decade now.

As far as gambling online, sportsbooks like BetAnySports offer a thoroughly automated process, where Bitcoin has been integrated right into the player's online account wallet. Sportsbooks convert bitcoins so that players can wager in their own currency to make it even eaier to use this virtual money. We have compiled a short list of list of the best Bitcoin betting sportsbooks here.

To find out more information straight from the 'horses mouth', a popular site for U.S. citizens is Coinbase.



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